The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Citizen Watershed
Monitoring Network arose out of the Sanctuary's objective
of establishing comprehensive monitoring of the health of
the Sanctuary and its watersheds. The goal of the Network
is to work towards comprehensive monitoring by helping to
create integrated, long-term, volunteer-based water quality
and watershed monitoring programs within the Monterey Bay
National Marine Sanctuary and its accompanying watersheds.
Goals of the Network:
- To provide a forum
for citizen monitoring groups
- To provide guidance,
training, equipment and support to monitoring groups
- To increase the
amount and quality of citizen monitoring data
- To increase public
and agency use of, and access to, citizen monitoring data
- To establish communications
between citizen monitors and government agencies so that
the information that is collected is useful.
Formation of the Citizen Watershed Monitoring Network was
made possible by a Clean Water Act Section 319 grant. The
Network was created by the Ocean
Conservancy and the Coastal
Watershed Council (CWC - a local nonprofit organization
dedicated to the protection of local watersheds, which is
headquartered in Santa Cruz, California), in association with
Water Quality Protection Program (WQPP).
Current funding and oversight of
the Network is provided by the Monterey
Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the California
Coastal Commission and the California
Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, which
is developing a comprehensive water quality monitoring program
for government agencies along the Central California coastal
waters. The Regional Water Quality Board is also assisting
the Network by facilitating links to the Central
Coast Ambient Monitoring Program (CCAMP).
Properly organized citizen monitoring programs offer a valuable,
cost-effective way to:
- expand the monitoring
of Sanctuary waters and watersheds;
- evaluate the success
of restoration, cleanup and pollution prevention measures;
- build citizen
stewardship of local waters and watersheds.
Citizen data also can be used for
water quality classification, watershed planning, non-point
assessment, and education. The Network helps coordinate and
enhance the efforts of non-government groups who share in
the effort to monitor the waters from the eleven watersheds
that empty into the Sanctuary.
Watershed Monitoring includes many different types of monitoring
that can be conducted by volunteers. Approximately twenty
Watershed groups within the Sanctuary conduct visual assessments
of their watersheds, measure water quality parameters, conduct
bird surveys, and measure flow and sediment load in the streams.
Each watershed group has different issues and objectives.
The Network offers annual trainings, establishes sampling
protocols, lends equipment and provides a centralized database
access for the existing volunteer groups in the region. Citizen
monitors within these watersheds perform an invaluable service
to their community and the environment in which they live.
On the first weekend in May, volunteers from San Mateo County to San Luis Obispo County participate in the Annual “Snapshot Day” Event. Over 150 trained volunteers participate in this Sanctuary-side volunteer volunteer water quality monitoring event designed
to increase information and public awareness about water quality
issues affecting watersheds that drain to the Monterey Bay
National Marine Sanctuary.
This community event provides a
one-day "Snapshot" of the health of the rivers and streams
that flow into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and conductivity are measured
in the field, while water samples are collected for laboratory
analysis of nutrients and bacteria levels. The volunteers
collecting this valuable information play a key role in our
community as stewards of our watersheds. The information they
provide is used by resource agencies, local governments and
community groups to protect and improve the health of our
Snapshot Day Reports Here
First Flush is an annual stormwater monitoring event occuring during the first significant rain event of the season. The program occurs in the fall in cities with active Urban Watch programs. The outfalls that have been monitored over the past few years by the Urban Watch volunteers are our regular sites monitored during First Flush. Starting in 2007, an additional 11 outfalls were added to our existing nine, bringing our total to 20 outfalls monitored. The goal of this effort is to characterize the first flush storm water runoff that is flowing into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The first major storm event of the
season, in which there are "sheet flows" of water on the roadways,
is defined as "First Flush." The outfalls that have been monitored
over the past few years by the Urban Watch volunteers are
the sites that have been chosen for this event. The goal of
this effort is to characterize the first flush storm water
runoff that is flowing into the Monterey Bay National Marine
First Flush Reports Here
The Urban Watch Water Quality Monitoring Program is a collaborative
effort between the Cities of Monterey, Pacific Grove, Capitola,
the Coastal Watershed Council, and the Monterey Bay National
Marine Sanctuary. Urban runoff is one of the leading sources
of pollution into coastal waters. The Urban Watch monitoring
program provides a way for local residents and community members
to become involved in learning more about water quality and
urban pollution issues by becoming an Urban Watch volunteer
monitor for the dry weather months (June-October).
Since 1998, teams of
volunteers trained in water quality monitoring have been collecting
water samples and conducting basic field analysis using an
EPA approved LaMotte Storm Drain Pollution Detection Kit.
The Storm Drain Kit includes tests for detergents,
ammonia, chlorine, copper, pH, and turbidity.
This continuing program has helped
the cities of Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Capitola and the
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary identify and implement
targeted educational programs aimed at addressing urban pollutants
entering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
For more information on monitoring
activities occurring within the Monterey Bay National Marine
Sanctuary, click here for our Watershed
Map, and select a watershed to view activities, or click here for related details.
Visit the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board's
list of Web sites that provide helpful water quality information:
Network Coordinator Contact Information:
Lisa Emanuelson, Coordinator
Monterey Bay Sanctuary Citizen Monitoring
99 Pacific Street, Bldg. 455A
Monterey, CA 93940
Bus. (831) 647-4227
Fax. (831) 647-4250